This week I read a story about a couple who were doing cleanup around some property they had bought. In the cleaning process, the wife encountered a rattlesnake.
The woman screamed and backed herself against the house. The husband ran to her and decapitated the snake with a hoe. Both people then went inside the house to calm down.
Later, the husband went outside to remove the two pieces of the snake from the yard. The hoe was lying where he left it, near the head of the snake.
I was shocked at what happened next.
As the man bent to pick up the hoe, the snake’s head leapt forward and bit him severely. (Research has informed me snakes retain reflexes after death.)
The wife rushed her husband to the hospital, and he survived, though his hand suffered permanent damage. He almost died.
Reflecting upon that story, I thought of the prophecy concerning Jesus and Satan in Genesis 3:15. God is speaking to the serpent when He says: And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Satan, the serpent, did strike the heel of Jesus, but Jesus crushed his head by dying and rising again to save you and me.
Satan threatens and torments us now, but his poisonous head has been crushed by the only One powerful enough to do so.
Those of us who are in Christ are delivered from the serpent’s death-inducing bite.
IN MY BOOK
Being a grammarian, I evaluate newscasters, billboard advertisers, menu writers, and others who are paid to speak or write for a public audience.
This is because professionals should perform their crafts with precision.
Just as I would not pay for work done by a sloppy housepainter or eat food prepared by a bad restaurant cook, I refuse to read material produced by bad writers.
That is, I would like to refuse to read it, but I find that impossible. It appears everywhere.
In my book, people who write badly should not be paid to write.
THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
Many of us have mistakenly said to a parent or grandparent, “What a beautiful little girl you have!” Then, to our embarrassment, we are informed the child is a boy.
This is an easy enough mistake to avoid. Say simply, “What a beautiful little one (baby, child, kiddo, etc.) you have!”
Think also before addressing senior citizens with child-appropriate titles like “sweetheart, dearie, or honey.” Among my friends, the consensus is we dislike these titles.
One woman said when someone calls her a “cutesy” name, she feels labeled as helpless or stupid. She hears expressed something like this: “Here you go, honey. Now, go play with your doll.”
The young person who does this may be trying to show kindness or respect. Instead, the older person feels patronized.
Treat all adults, whatever their ages, as adults. Period.
I recently listened to (via Audible.com) a book I highly recommend: A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, by W. Phillip Keller. This is an old book, first published by Zondervan in 1970.
The author was born in Kenya to missionary parents and spent many years tending sheep. In this book, he astutely compares Christians, Christ’s beloved flock, to real sheep.
Passages in Psalm took on new and clear meaning for me as I read through the chapters.
In Chapter Four, He Leads Me Beside Quiet Waters, the author writes:
When sheep are thirsty, they become restless and set out in search of water. If not led to the good water supplies of clean, pure water, they will often end up drinking from the polluted potholes where they pick up such internal parasites as nematodes, liver flukes, or other disease germs.
And in precisely the same manner, Christ, our Good Shepherd, made it clear that thirsty souls of men and women can only be fully satisfied when their capacity and thirst for spiritual life is fully quenched by drawing on himself.
Over and over I saw myself in the behavior of rebellious ewes who failed to recognize their need for their shepherd’s guidance, deliverance, and provision.
Do yourself a favor and read it. The book is not boring or tedious. Instead, it will richly feed (and water) you with a clear explanation of David’s words in Psalm 23.